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U.s. 17, Syria 16, Us 13, Washington 13, Hannah Anderson 7, Assad 7, U.n. 6, Damascus 5, United States 4, Haiti 4, America 4, Obama 3, James Dimaggio 3, Medicare 3, Kosovo 3, Naacp 3, California 3, Bashar Assad 2, Fbi 2, Jamie Ruben 2,
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  CNN    CNN Newsroom    News/Business. Latest on the day's top news stories  
   with a focus on global news, trends and destinations. New.  

    August 28, 2013
    10:00 - 11:01am PDT  

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the u.s. is making the case for military intervention in syria, as the u.n. investigates alleged chemical attacks. so what does it mean for american troops? we'll investigate. plus, right now, thousands are gathered on the national mall. events are under way to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the march on washington. we'll take you there live. and 184,000 acres burned. plus, 4,000 firefighters equals one of the worst wildfires in california state history. we're going to have a live report. this is "cnn newsroom." u.s. officials are all but telling u.n. inspectors to get out of syria, get out of the way. it is not and if, but when the u.s. will launch an attack. the u.n. teams are carrying on.
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inspectors back to evidence for the alleged chemical attack. these pictures were posted online showing inspectors talking to survivors at a medical facility near damascus. u.s. warships, they are ready, but there are warnings here at home and around the world that the united states could create inextricable mess by conducting a military strike on syria. cnn is the only u.s. network broadcasting live from inside of the country, inside syria. fred pleitgen is on the ground in damascus with the very latest. fred, essentially what is it like to be there with people thinking and believing that a strike is imminent? >> well, i have to tell you, people really do seem to be nervous here. there's a lot of people that we speak to. obviously because we're in the government-controlled part of damascus, many people are sympathetic to the government and they will tell you out front that they have no fear, that god is on their side and that they believe that the regime will
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fight back. but there are certainly people that we've also been speaking to off camera that say yes, of course they're nervous as to what exactly this will bring. there's people who are buying canned food and dry food thinking that all of this might escalate and things might get worse for them. because one of the things we have to keep in mind is that while there's been a civil war going on, there has been somewhat of a military balance with both sides. and so a will of people here in damascus can actually lead fairly normal lives. now many people think that might be in jeopardy. you don't get the sense that people are fearing for their safety, but they are fearing what sort of ripple effects this might have on the battlefield and whether or not things might escalate here in damascus. >> and do they believe that it's actually a good idea, either side, that they might be on, do they think that something long-term is going to be accomplished if the u.s. actually hits some of these military sites? >> reporter: i don't think anybody believes anything long-term is going to -- i mean, when you look at the opposition side, they've been saying for a long time they want an air campaign. they've been asking for a no-fly
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zone, similar to, for instance, what senator john mccain has been asking for. when you call in the government side, they don't think anything of this at all. they think this is a big mistake. the assad government has come forward and said they believe only innocent civilians will be killed because of that and the prime minister of syria has said he believes that the u.s. is simply trying to use false facts to create a pretext to try and attack syria. so certainly, if you look at the side of the government, they obviously think nothing of this, and they keep calling for the u.s. to give the u.n. weapons inspectors more time, but of course, the way things are going right now, doesn't look like that is the case. >> looks like time is running out. fred, thank you. appreciate it. any type of military operation in syria would be extremely complex. and what would the potential targets be? later this hour, i'm going to ask former assistant secretary of state jamie ruben about that issue. and the weather might finally help thousands of firefighters struggling to contain -- this is the giant rim
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fire in california. just in time, the fire has scorched a huge area of land. it has burned its way into yosemite national park. for now, the yosemite valley and its iconic attractions are safe, as long as that wind doesn't change. casey, what is the situation on the ground right now? >> reporter: you talk about the big rim fire. it really is big. you're looking here at some of the 187,000 acres of fire at the yosemite area that has burned because of the rim fire. the good news, though, is that it is now at 23% containment. which means 23% of the perimeter of this fire is pretty much under firefighters' control. but there are still a lot of areas that are troublesome. there's some hot spots.
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we saw them late yesterday. where there are trees still burning. some of these large trees, when they get weakened by fire, they can provide a lot of danger for firefighters because they'll fall down without warning. firefighters are spending most of their time now on structure protection, building fire lines, and later today, they're going to be sending some backfires to stop the fire from spreading. >> do we know if people are going to have to cancel their vacations or postpone their vacations for yosemite national park, the areas where campers will be for the holiday weekend? >> reporter: the short answer is no. if you look over here to my left, you can see that guardrail. that's one of the roads into yosemite national park. highway 120. this road has been closed to everything except emergency vehicles. that's so they can continue to fight some of these hot spots that are popping up alongside the roads from here to yosemite. but there are still two other
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roads that are open to allow visitors to come into the park. and officials tell us that it remains safe to do so, just bay matter of perspective. yosemite national park, 800,000 acres. only about 24,000 acres of the park proper have actually burned. about 3%. so most of it remains still in good shape. >> all right, casey, thank you. appreciate it. exactly 50 years ago today, hundreds of thousands of people marched on washington and heard the reverend martin luther king jr.'s historic "i have a dream" speech. well, today, thousands are returning to the national mall to commemorate that day and the words that inspired a nation. president obama will speak along with former presidents bill clinton and jimmy carter, and in just about an hour, oprah winfrey set to take the stage as well. we'll also hear from the king family, including martin luther king iii and the reverend bernice king. civil rights leader and former
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u.n. ambassador andrew young spoke to the crowd earlier today and then broke into song. ♪ i woke up this morning come on, help me. >> a pretty festive atmosphere out there. joining me, donna brazile, and also joined by van jones, two good friends of mine here. you know, we just saw andrew young, we talked to him just the other day. i didn't realize he was such a beautiful singer, donna. give us a sense of what this is like to be there. >> well, this is a historic occasion. this is a reminder of not just a journey that we traveled over the last 50 years, but it's also a call to action to continue to fight for those issues and those concerns that dr. king laid before us 50 years ago. the march for jobs, the march to raise the minimum wage. the march for freedom and
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economic justice. this dream continues. despite the weather, people are here because they want to celebrate, but they also would like to recommit themselves to the fight for freedom for all. >> and van, we've been talking about this all day, thinking about it. what life would have been like for us if we hadn't had this moment. if we hadn't had this civil rights movement. you know, my own family, my grandparents didn't finish an elementary school education. my parents grew up in the south in new orleans, segregation, drank at colored fountains. can you imagine a day, can you imagine what your life would have been like if this hadn't taken place? >> no, i really can't. i think sometimes people don't understand how emotional this is for many americans. i mean, the cab driver that was driving me over here broke down crying talking about his family and the struggle he's gone through. i tried to pay him, he wouldn't even take money from me. he said just go and tell the truth about what this means for
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us. such an emotional day to imagine the same spot that dr. king was standing there, he couldn't drink from a water fountain in parts of this country. and then 50 years later to, have a black president to stand on that same spot, it's so emotional. my mother grew up under segregation. my mother was mistreated. my father. my mother is not even 70 years old. she's still in her 06 -- 60s. people are crying, people are hugging each other. it's just an emotional day for everybody here. >> and donna, you wear so many hats, but obviously this affects you personally as well. if you have a personal story. i know you also believe very much in the president and seeing the first african-american president in terms of just how far we've come. >> well, as you know, it was about 30 years ago that i coordinated the national mobilization and directed the 20th anniversary of the historic march. i was 23.
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back then, mrs. king hired me on the campaign to make doctor. king's birthday a holiday. so i spent part of the morning reliving that moment with andy young and dr. lowery, congresswoman eleanor holmes norton, so many others. i was with them last night at the white house for a very wonderful ceremony. this is a remarkable day. but this is not just a day where we march today. we're going to continue to march and continue to march until we have freedom and justice for all in this society. >> i just want to add, dr. king has almost been elevated to family father status, because he took the founding reality of america which was very ugly when it came to race, but he held on to that founding dream that was in the declaration of independence and brought that to the country. i just think for him to be elevated to almost a founding father status in such a short period time is extraordinary. he took us from the founding
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reality which was ugly, but he held on to that founding tree freeh d freedom, which was beautiful. >> donna, you don't look a day over 23. you're looking good. >> i feel good. thank you. >> here's also what we're work on for this hour. a stunning upset at u.s. open. an amazing come from behind victory. we'll have a live report up next. and a syrian group launches a cyber attack on a "new york times" website. that story up ahead. chipmunks g. ♪ [ female announcer ] when your swapportunity comes, take it. ♪ what? what? what? [ female announcer ] yoplait. it is so good. i tthan probablycare moreanyone else.and what? we've had this farm for 30 years. we raise black and red angus cattle. we also produce natural gas. that's how we make our living and that's how we can pass the land
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some supporters of the syrian government say that they are behind a cyber attack on "the new york times." more than 18 hours, the paper's website was down. the syrian electronic army is now claiming responsibility. now in a message on "the new york times'" official twitter account, the paper said the attack was affecting readers in europe and asia. two weeks ago, the group went after other news sites, including cnn and "the washington post." any type of military operation in syria would be, of course, extremely complex. the white house makes it clear
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that regime change is not the goal of any possible u.s. strike. so, what would the potential targets be? what would the objective be? my next guest can help explain all the possible strategies. jamie ruben is former assistant secretary of the u.s. state department. now a visiting scholar at oxford university. joins us from france. good to see you. we've got a lot of ground to cover here. one of the things that you mentioned was in the new yorker recently. this is may 13th, 2013 article. it's called "the thin red line," it refers to the president's foreign policy. in it you say, there's a quote, in foreign affairs, regarding obama, he seems risk averse at using force and even diplomacy. there are no big diplomacy initiatives. there is little peace effort in the middle east. we used to have a whole part of
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our foreign policy we called the america the peacemaker. we don't do that anymore. do you still believe there's not a big peace objective when it comes to this administration? >> no, i don't think there will be a large peace initiative in syria. the situation that the president faces is that he threatened the leader of syria bashar assad not to use chemical weapons. said that that would cross a red line. assad didn't believe him. he used chemical weapons several months ago. and now he's used chemical weapons again. so president obama is taking what i think may be called the minimum necessary course of action here, which is to respond in a punitive way, and probably not in a large way, but rather to attack a set of targets associated with perhaps the launching of chemical weapons like missile launchers or airfields where chemical bombs can be launched. and so i don't think the president is engaged in what you
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might call diplomacy back by force, where he's trying to bring peace to the war in syria, try to end the conflict there, or indeed achieve what he said should be the objective, which is to get rid of bashar al assad. so this is the minimum course that i think the president could take, and that's why i've regarded him as generally risk-averse. >> do you think it's a good idea taking the minimal amount of action or do you think he needs to do something more deliberate? >> well, if we don't want to see the kind of mass murder continue in syria that we've seen over the last two years -- remember, we're well over 100,000 people have been slaughtered in that country, and we're about to take military action because the last thousand were slaughtered by chemical weapons. if this military operation is successful, and i hope and pray
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it will be, a certain number of targets will be taken out. a strong message will be sent to bashar assad not to use chemical weapons. i expect that he probably won't use chemical weapons again after this attack. but he will continue the slaughter of his own people. and will probably go from 100 to 120 and soon 150,000 people in this terrible civil war. so i think it's long past time for president obama to make the kind of tough decision that's necessary in a place this important to the world with this kind of mass slaughter going on. this is the worst, according to the united nations, the worst humanitarian disaster in the modern era, with millions of refugees and over 100,000 people now dead. >> all right. let's see what the president decides to do. jamie, i wish we had more time, but we'll be talking about this throughout the week as that window approaches. jamie rubin, thank you. ahead on "the newsroom" --
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>> i remember very vividly telling my brother she's trouble. >> the sister of james dimaggio opens up saying hannah anderson is not so innocent and her brother is not a killer. and it's 50th anniversary of the march on washington. you're looking at live pictures out of washington. later in the show, we're going to talk to the president of the naacp. the average fast-food dinner is over $6.50 a meal. this delicious, easy to make kraft dinner from walmart is less than $3.10 a serving. replacing 1 fast food dinner a week, saves your family of 4 over $760 a year. save money. live better. walmart. could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance. yep, everybody knows that. well, did you know some owls aren't that wise? don't forget i'm having brunch with meghan tomorrow. who? meghan, my coworker. who?
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we're actually getting a different view of a man police say is a kidnapper and a killer. james dimaggio, who allegedly abducted 16-year-old hannah anderson, murdered her brother and her mother, and then died in a shootout with fbi agents in the mountains of idaho. his sister wants to know if he was a victim in. an exclusive interview, she told our piers morgan that she warned her brother about hannah anderson. here's miguel marquez. >> reporter: in a contentious interview -- >> how do you know that he did it? would be my question for you. >> reporter: speaking exclusively to cnn's piers morgan, the sister of james dimaggio, the man killed in a
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shootout with the fbi in the ida idaho wilderness. and he tortured her mother and brother before setting fire to the house. >> i would like to remind you that at this point, my brother is still a suspect. he is not a killer. he is accused. and again, it is alleged. >> reporter: lora dimaggio holds out the possibility her 40-year-old brother is a victim. casting blame on 16-year-old hannah anderson. >> the hannah anderson that i saw a few nights ago on the tv, is certainly not the girl that stayed in my home three weeks prior to them disappearing. >> what do you mean? what do you mean? >> i remember very vividly telling my brother she's trouble. >> reporter: last week, hannah anderson broke her silence in an
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interview on nbc, where she insisted it was all james dimaggio's doing. >> he was picking me up from cheer camp and he didn't know the address or, like, where i was, so i had to tell him the address and tell him that i was going to be in the gym and not in fwroront of the school, just he knew where to come get me. >> reporter: lora dimaggio, while offering no evidence, disputes that. >> in my heart of hearts, i think that hannah perhaps got herself into a situation that she couldn't get herself out of and i do believe that my brother gave his life to protect her. >> reporter: finally, dimaggio says she wants to see more evidence from investigators. evidence not likely to come as the investigation is closed. >> miguel marquez joins us if los angeles. so i imagine that hannah anderson's family are reacting to this in some way. what did they say about the interview?
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>> reporter: they're not reacting. that's sort of their reaction. the family has sort of been through it. they did release a previous -- saying there is no dna evidence linking dimaggio and the andersons. he came into their lives after hannah was born and ethan's dna was linked to his father after his death. they also wish ms. dimaggio well as she and her family continues to heal as well. >> all right, miguel, thank you. ahead, the 50th anniversary of the march on washington. you're looking at live pictures from washington. after the break, we're going to talk to the president of the naacp. [ male announcer ] this is claira. to prove to you that aleve is the better choice for her, she's agreed to give it up. that's today? [ male announcer ] we'll be with her all day to see how it goes. [ claira ] after the deliveries, i was okay. now the ciabatta is done and the pain is starting again. more pills? seriously? seriously. [ groans ] all these stops to take more pills can be a pain. can i get my aleve back?
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now is the time to rise from segregation. >> thousands of people are flocking to the national mall in washington to commemorate a pivotal point in the fight for civil rights. the march happened exactly 50 years ago today. wi the head of the naacp spoke to the crowd earlier today. ben jealous spoke about economic justice and referred specifically to a planned strike tomorrow by some minimum wage workers. let's listen. >> and so as we go home today, let us remember that the dreamer was also a doer. and as we turn on our tvs tomorrow and see people walking out of places where they're being forced to survive on $7.25 by the thousands, let us commit to join them in fighting to lift up the bottom, because as the
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top of that ladder has extended, the tethers at the bottom must be unleashed. >> ben jealous joins us from washington. good to see you, as always. tell us a little bit about the doing part of this. what needs to be done? in your estimation, what's most important moving forward tomorrow, starting with the planned strikes? >> well, you know, i stepped out here and i actually had a speech that i had composed and that was not the one that i gave. as i looked out this crowd of tens of thousands of people in the rain, bringing kids, many of them coming from not too far from here. many coming from across the river in the southeast, where the average family income is about $21,000. it occurred to me that doctor. king would be very unsettled by the fact that while we have a smaller percentage of people in poverty, we have a bigger number of people in poverty 50 years
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later. and when you see a worker only make $7.25 who really works at will in every way, who is risking everything to fight simply to get the minimum wage to where it should be. it should be $15 today. being less than half of that should be unacceptable to all of us. >> you wrote an op-ed in "the wall street journal." you said doctor. king was likely to even have anticipated and we find ourselves refighting some of the old civil rights battled we thought we had won. what do you mean by that? >> well, look. all of us expected that the voting rights act, which had just been reauthorized six years ago with the support of 98 out of 100 u.s. senators would continue to persist at least for decades more. and that dr. king understood was the pillar of our civil rights protection, because your right to vote is the right upon which your ability to defend all of
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your other rights is leveraged and here we are fighting to restore section four of the voting rights act. and really the act itself. and i think you'll he would be surprised by that. i think doctor. king would also be surprised that our country, the land of the free, has become the world's largest incorrespondearcerated. i think he would also be disappointed that the minimum wage was such a focus of activism, that ear ra has been left to rust, if you will, over the years.ra has been left to rust, if you will, over the years. worth so little that a family could work -- a mom could work 60 hours and still need to go access public assistance because she is still far below the poverty line for the size of her family. >> so i'm sure there is a lot of economic circumstances that dr. king would look at, as you mentioned before.
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what do you think he would make of barack obama, the first african-american president? >> first of all, i think he would be hugely proud. and really, frankly, take pride in everything he did to tear down those jericho walls so we could see a person of color become president. i think he'll be proud of what this president has done to get health care to millions of people, both a leading cause of premature death and a leading cause of bankruptcy. in many communities across this country. you'll be proud, by the way, that this president stood up for wall street -- excuse me, stood up for detroit and made sure that we saved the car manufacturers and all the jobs that went with it. i think he would also be questioning about why there aren't more people from wall street who have gone to jail at this time. but i think he would be very proud, and perhaps have some questions as well. >> ben jealous, thank you, as always. we appreciate it. ahead on "newsroom," as the
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u.s. considers military intervention in syria, our security analysts with a lot of experience in troubled spots calls this the problem from hell for the united states. we'll be talking to peter bergen up ahead. with new phillips' fiber good gummies. they're fruity delicious! just two gummies have 4 grams of fiber! to help support regularity! i want some... [ woman ] hop on over! [ marge ] fiber the fun way, from phillips'.
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crisis in syria has increasingly become a u.s. problem. it is a big problem. our national security analyst peter bergen summed up some of the issues in an op-ed on our website cnn.com. he writes here, i'm quoting, "whoever ultimately prevails in this fight is hardly going to be an ally of the u.s.." it's it is in short a problem from held." peter bergen is in our d.c. bureau. this clearly looks like it's
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going to be a big problem for the united states and the allies. we have heard from u.s. officials who said look, this is not about regime change here. we do not want a long-term investment. so what does the obama administration gain if it was a surgical strike against syria? >> well, the united states cannot let stand the large scale use of chemical weapons. i think that's just a fact. it is sort of in a quandary because they don't want to actually overthrow assad. it would look potentially even worse. the most effective groups on the worse are aligned with al qaeda and the others are aligned with iran, hezbollah, etc. but they do want to hand assad more than a slap on the wrist. so it's a matter of calibrating the response somewhere between regime change but also more than a slap on the wrist. >> peter, how is it not more than just symbolic here? you bring up a very good point here. if assad stays in power, you hit these different targets here. can't he just build up his
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arsenal again so he would hit his own civilians with chemical weapons once again if he still remains in power? >> i think the theory of the case is that given enough time, the other elements of the syrian opposition, which are now getting various kinds of help from the united states, may build up to the point where they can actually overthrow assad themselves. you know, which of course, is a gamble. right now, the moderate quote unquote elements of the syrian opposition are some of the least affected, which is why regime change is off the table here. >> would it be potentially more dangerous with regime change? i mean, let's say you did have the rebels, the syrian rebels, would there not be some sort of power vacuum, where you mentioned there is al qaeda, there are the radicals there that do not see peace as an option. >> the day after assad goes
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could be a situation where al qaeda aligned groups control good chunks of the country, and this is a country that neighbors israel in the middle of the middle east, is attracting thousands and thousands of foreign fighters, including a small number of americans and a small number of europeans. but this could look like afghanistan in the 1980s, except worse. that's a worst case scenario. but it's certainly a scenario that planners have to think about. >> and you talk about one of the options. you say that u.s. action against syria could actually look similar in some ways to what was done in kosovo. you had president clinton really jumping in two years or so after that conflict had erupted. how would that work? would it be beneficial? >> kosovo turned out to be 78 days of air campaign, so i don't think we'll see anything like that. kosovo was a nato operation. right now, the administration is looking around for what kind of international authorities it can have. with some nato buy-in, perhaps
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at least some arab league criticism of assad. it's not a particularly great group of authorizations that they're looking at right now. the u.n. security council, that's unlike tlly to yield anything because russia and china would veto any military operation. >> peter bergen, as you summed it up, a hellish situation is what you called it. we appreciate it. we're going to be getting your input as all of this unfolds. and also, fort hood, texas, comes down to this simple question. will nidal hasan, the man who gunned down so many of his army comrades, spend the rest of his life in prison or be put to death? that next. ♪ [ female announcer ] when your swapportunity comes, take it.
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right now at fort hood, texas, only one question remains. will convicted mass murderer major nidal hasan spend the rest of his life in a military prison, or be put to death for the 2009 base shooting that left 13 people dead, 32 others wounded. today the state gave a 45-minute emotional closing argument calling hasan "a criminal, a cold-blooded murderer." hasan declined to say anything and that fits his pattern,
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acting as his own lawyer, he offered essentially no defense. the jury convicted him on all counts of murder. we're now finding out that a virus is likely to blame for killing hundreds of dolphins, this is along the east coast. that is according to government experts. this virus is similar to the measles in humans. right now, experts say there is no way to stop it from spread and they urge people to stay away from stranded dolphins as they might be infected. and ahead on cnn "newsroom," an upset at the u.s. open by a teenager who went through amazing challenges growing up in haiti. we're going to tell you all about it. rip every day. where would you go? woman: 'greece.' woman 2: 'i want to go to bora bora.' man: 'i'd always like to go to china.' anncr: download the expedia app and your next trip could be on us. expedia, find yours. little carrot.
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this is a big upset at the u.s. open by a young lady who has overcome quite a lot. this 17-year-old american, victoria duval, faced off against the 2011 champion, stunning her in the first round. it's duval's first win against a top 20 opponent. this young lady, amazing background here. she grew up in haiti, and she overcame a lot before she even decided to start playing tennis. what happened? >> that's right. she was born in miami. her parents are haitian and they decided to take her to haiti to raise her. when she was just 7 years old her, she was at her aunt's house
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when she and her cousins were taken hostage at gunpoint. quite often that kind of situation wouldn't have ended well, but fortunately it did. at that point, her mom decided she was going to bring her to the u.s. and raise her here, by which point she was aspiring as a tennis player, having wanted to be a ballerina. but she decided to pursue tennis. there's also a tennis connection to something else that was really traumatic in her life, because in the haiti earthquake two or three years ago, her father who was still living there, was actually trapped in his home that collapsed. he managed to crawl out after i think about 11 hours, but he was really badly injured. he had broken both his arms and legs, seven ribs, punctured lung. a family with connections to her club paid to have him treated in florida. she said last night if it wasn't for that, he wouldn't be here. >> she says she would love to see young people -- i want to be a role model, good for other young people when they watch her and see what she does. >> i think she's still enjoying
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being a kid. she said last night she really is a child at heart, but a warrior on the tennis court. but she's clearly very ambitious. she wants to be a biomedical engineer. but i think college can wait for now. she's only just turned then, of course, she's got a second round match to look forward to. >> what are her chances? what's her likelihood she'll make it really big? that she'll make her mark in tennis? >> you've seen, she's not the first player to have done something crazy and not much happens after that. but to beat the former champion in only her second grand slam tennis match is a phenomenal achievement. who knows what can happen after this point. she's a confident young player. she's a great character. i think we'd all like to see her stick around a bit longer. >> i love her personality. i love her message, too. it's really refreshing. >> absolutely. 50 years ago martin luther king jr. stood in the nation's capital challenging us to be
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better citizens of the world. still to come, we're going to take you back to the famous "i have a dream" speech. i'm only in my 60's... i've got a nice long life ahead. big plans. so when i found out medicare doesn't pay all my medical expenses, i looked at my options. then i got a medicare supplement insurance plan. [ male announcer ] if you're eligible for medicare, you may know it only covers about 80% of your part b medical expenses. the rest is up to you.
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who have already enrolled in the only medicare supplement insurance plans endorsed by aarp, an organization serving the needs of people 50 and over for generations. remember, all medicare supplement insurance plans help cover what medicare doesn't pay. and could save you thousands a year in out-of-pocket costs. call now to request your free decision guide. and learn more about the kinds of plans that will be here for you now -- and down the road. i have a lifetime of experience. so i know how important that is. that's it for "cnn newsroom." i'm suzanne malveaux. before we go, i have to go live to the nation's capital where thousands are gathered to mark the 50th anniversary of the march on washington.
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it was where the reverend martin luther king jr. took to the podium to deliver what was supposed to be a four-minute speech. but his ad libbed message about his dream for a free and just america helped define a movement. let's listen in to some of what he had to say august 28th, 1963. >> i say to you today, my friends, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, i still have a dream. it is a dream deeply rooted in the american dream. i have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed:
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"we hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal." i have a dream that one day on the red hills of georgia the sons of former slaves and sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood. i have a dream that one day even the state of mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. i have a dream that my four
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little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. i have a dream today. i have a dream that one day the -- down in alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor have his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, one day down in alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers. i have a dream today. i have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted,
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every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together. this is our hope. this is the faith that i go back to the south with. with this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. with this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. with this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day. this will be the day when all of god's children will be able to
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sing with new meaning, "my country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee i sing. land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrims' pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring." and if america is to be a great nation, this must become true. so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of new hampshire. let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of new york. let freedom ring from the heightening alleghenies of pennsylvania. let freedom ring from the snowcapped rockies of colorado. let freedom ring from the cur vaceous slopes of california. but not only that, let freedom ring from the stone mountain of georgia. let freedom ring from lookout mountain of tennessee! let freedom ring from every hill
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and molehill in mississippi! from every mountainside, let freedom ring. when we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of god's children, black men and white men, jews and gentiles, protestants and catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old negro spiritual, "free at last! free at last! thank god almighty, we are free thank god almighty, we are free at last!" -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com that famous "i have a dream" speech 50 years ago today on a wednesday, august 28th, 1963.
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and hearing that speech is almost like hearing it for the first time each time you hear it. i get goose bumps. and you can't help but become emotional. the mall in washington today is packed with people from all over the country. thousands of people who made this journey on the 50th anniversary of the march on washington. the national mall is filled. you can see the reflecting pool and the monument in the background. then over my shoulder, the lincoln memorial where we have been hearing performances all day which will culminate with the president of the united states. the first african-american president giving his speech on the anniversary. i am don lemon, everyone. we're going to hear from three presidents this afternoon. former president jimmy carter will speak. as well as former president bill clinton will speak here as well. then, of course, president barack obama. plus, civil rights icon, congress n congressman john lewis, the only surviving speaker from the 1963 march on washington will deliver his